Note taking – calendar

Right, long overdue for an update. I’m on my third notebook and have made some changes since I posted about version 2.

What happened to version 2? Changes, that’s what. An addition plus some removals.

What has been removed? The monthly items (read task list) and calendar, are both dead. They just did not work. The task list as I had built it meant that I had to keep going back and forth within the book to note key actions so of course I did not do this with any reliability. The monthly calendar did significantly better but I’ve also decided to drop it.

What was wrong with the monthly calendar? Again, time to maintain it. The way I used the calendar was to note all meetings/events and layout where they occurred in the day. This became quite the workload over time. Reschedules of meetings/events also caused quite a mess (yes, this does happen more than I like). Finally, finding an item from a few months ago first requires knowing which month it occurred in – not as straightforward as it should be.

What about the need for longer term planning? Well the need still exists and I’ve learned that a view of longer than one month view is required.

Where I have events, or groups of events, within the current month these are easily incorporated into my monthly calendar. However where these extend beyond the current month I have had difficulty in marking these.

What’s the solution? The calendex method as lifted from the bullet journal methodology.[1]

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Prepping the new notebook.

A post shared by K McD (@kurleymcd) on

IMAG1305To align to weeks in work I mark a double red line at each Friday, the end of each working week. At each Sunday, I insert a green line, to mark out the weekend within that working week. Each month is four columns wide and each day is one row. I had thought of marking out days by name but this would require marking each day with its number, eating up valuable space.

What is included in the calendar? Only important events are included, e.g. key deliverables, important meetings. Regularly scheduled meetings/events are excluded unless a specific instance is of particular note, e.g. the end of a project. I am concerned only with the date on which events happen, the time is not important. Leave and public holidays are marked out by diagonal lines.

What are the drawbacks? Ha, of course there are some. The tight space can lead to clutter. Each day tends to be large enough for events that may occur but this falls down where events are rescheduled. I cross them out but any new event for that same day will have to be squeezed into the remaining space. And no, I will not use correction fluid, hate the stuff.

What are the advantages? I now have all my key events for a year (thirteen months in my current book) visible at once. It is very easy to find specific events and then a simple matter to locate the notes within the book itself. I am very happy with how this approach works for me.



This post is part of a series, click here to find all associated posts.


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